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Molecular Functional Imaging Lab (MFIL)


Our Lab

The MFIL team is composed of dedicated researchers coming from diverse biology/ life science disciplines. What unites them is an undying passion for learning and experimentation. Meet them below.


Dr. Abhijit De

Scientific Officer 'G' and Principal Investigator

Dr. De joined ACTREC as a research faculty in the year 2009. His current designation is Principal Investigator and Scientific Officer G and a leading cancer research scientist in India with a focus on Molecular Imaging. He completed PhD in Genetics Lab, Department of Zoology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi in 1998. Then he was a DBT postdoctoral fellow at CCMB, Hyderabad and further postdoctoral training at Crump Institute of Molecular Imaging, Univ. of California, Los Angeles, USA. He has served as a senior researcher in MIPS program established at Dept. of Radiology, Stanford Univ., USA. In 2009, he joined ACTREC as a research faculty and has contributed later in establishing the optical imaging core facility at ACTREC. 

Dr. De’s laboratory is primarily engaged in multidisciplinary research involving pre-clinical molecular imaging, and development of anti-cancer therapeutics including cancer nanomedicine for breast cancer and other major solid tumors. He has published over 100 research articles, reviews, book chapters and Editorials. He holds multiple US and Indian patents, and have filed six Indian patent applications in the last five years. He has experience in leading both academic basic research projects as well as academia-industry collaborative projects.

His favorite topics for teaching and research are gene regulatory mechanisms, protein-protein interaction, in vivo molecular imaging applications, and nanomedicine. He has immensely contribute in this field of live cell BRET imaging for its expansion and application in diverse areas of disease biology. One of his pioneering works is the invention of in vivo BRET, which was granted US patent right and was licensed from Stanford University, USA. Very recently the group has designed multiple new BRET pairs and functional reporter sensors, demonstrating use as multiplexed screening option of target specific cancer drug molecules.


Pranay Dey


I have done my Bachelors in Microbiology from University of Delhi and Masters in Medical Biotechnology from PGIMER, Chandigarh. Joined ACTREC PhD program in 2017 and chose to join MFIL. My research is to study the dynamics of receptor dimerization pattern and downstream signaling of HER2 and HER3 occurring due to hotspot mutations in breast cancer.


I have completed my Bachelor`s and Master’s degree in Microbiology from Shivaji University, Kolhapur and I have been awarded the CSIR Shyama Prasad Mukherjee fellowship. By joining ACTREC PhD program in 2017, I am working on novel mushroom luciferase reporter-based molecular imaging applications and cellular assay development in cancer.

Aaiyas Mujawar


Chetna Patnaik


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I have completed B.Sc. in Biotechnology from Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology and Masters in Life Science from National Institute of Technology (NIT), Rourkela, Odisha. I joined ACTREC for PhD in 2019 and working on developing novel photothermal nanomaterial for cancer ablation. 


Mansi Joshi


I have completed B.Sc. in Life Sciences from Kumaun University, Almora and M.Sc. in Biotechnology (under JNU biotechnology program) from Dept. of Biotechnology, Kumaun University, Nainital. Joined the lab in 2019 and my PhD research is to understand how noncanonical phospho-serine STAT3 PTM drives oncogenic signalling in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC).


Shivali Mishra

I pursued Bachelor degree in Biochemistry from Mithibai College, Mumbai, and Masters in Biochemistry from KEM Hospital and Seth G.S Medical College, Mumbai. Joined the lab in 2020 and my PhD research is to understand the mechanisms of drug resistance in HER2-positive breast cancer with an emphasis on cellular plasticity.




Sulagna Rath

I have completed Master's degree in Life Sciences from Bose Institute, Kolkata. I joined the lab in 2021 to study the role of immune remodeling after photothermal therapy in Immuno-competent mouse models.


Shaonlee Ghosh


I pursued Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Zoology from the University of Calcutta. Joined the lab in 2022 and my research work at the lab focuses on the underlying mechanism of STAT3 feedback activation, impacting resistance to HER2 targeted drugs in Breast cancer.


Anuradha Gupta


I completed B.Sc. in Microbiology at SSR College of Arts, Commerce & Science, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Silvassa and Master's degree from Modern College of Arts, Science & Commerce, Savitribai Phule Pune University. Joined the lab in 2022  and my work focuses on the homologous targeting of breast cancer stem cells employing biomimetic nanoparticles for photothermal therapy.


Janvi Patel


I have pursued 5 years Integrated Master's in Cell and Molecular Biology from Dr Vikram Sarabhai Institute of Cell & Molecular Biology, M.S. University, Baroda. I joined MFIL Lab in August 2023. My PhD work is focused on understanding the effect of a small molecule kinase inhibitor Tucatinib in targeted drug therapy-resistant breast cancer.


Renu Malhotra

Scientific Assistant D



Chetan Boir




Snehal Valvi

Scientific Assistant C

MI Core Facility

Lab Alumni


Dr. Sumit Mishra

PhD 2022

Currently PostDoctoral Fellow at Liver Cancer Program, UT Southwestern Medical Centre, Dallas, USA


Dr. Shalini Dimri

PhD 2020

Currently PostDoctoral Fellow at Technion-Israel Institution of Technology, Haifa, Israel


Dr. Soumya Basu

DBT Research Associate


Currently working as Associate Professor

D Y Patil Vidyapith, Pune


Dr. Arijit Mal

PhD 2021

Currently Postdoctoral Fellow at Kidney Cancer Program, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, USA


Dr. Madhura Kelkar

PhD 2017

PostDoctoral Fellow

ICMR, Mumbai

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Dr. Shruti Dutta

DST Woman Scientist


Currently working as Senior Manager, Epigeneres BIotech, Mumbai


Dr. Maitreyi Rathod

PhD 2020

Currently PostDoctoral Fellow at Department of Biomedicine

University of Basel, Switzerland


Dr. Sushmita Chatterjee

PhD 2016

Currently PostDoctoral Fellow at Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Tel Aviv University, Israel


Dr. Swathi Raju

TMC Research Associate


Currently working at an industry in Hyderabad, India

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